I’ve come to love the word Trust. I believe that it is at the centre of anything that we do. Trust is crucial for love and relationships. Trust is crucial for leaps of faith. Trust is needed for faith of any kind. Trust is strength. So, I ask you…
Do you really trust yourself? Always?
What is trust?
For me, trust is when you can depend on something or someone. Trust is when no matter what, you know things will be OK. It’s hope and faith and comfort. Comfort being my favourite meaning, as being comfortable with yourself or another, means you really have trust no matter what. You feel safe.
But I want to show a different side to trust, one that author and researcher Brene Brown talks about…
Brent Brown on Trust:
She breaks down her definition of Trust as this acronym: B.R.A.V.I.N.G
B – BOUNDARIES
This is where you respect boundaries, set boundaries, and ask about boundaries when you’re unsure. Boundaries are kind of like rules or a guideline on personal needs and preferences.
For example, “I don’t like to be disturbed between the hours of 9 and 10 in the morning, that’s my time.” So, this boundary should be freely set and respected between parties without judgement.
R – RELIABILITY
This is where you can depend on someone or something. You know they will do what they say they’ll do. You can trust them to be there for you and vice versa. This is when you know your own (or other people’s) abilities and priorities and limitations and how to act accordingly.
A – ACCOUNTABILITY
This is where you hold yourself and others accountable. You can own up to mistakes, apologise when needed, and make things better.
V – VAULT
You are trusted to keep secrets. You don’t share information that is not yours to share. People know they can share with you and that information stays between you. Also, that you don’t share other people’s information with anyone at all (gossip).
I – INTEGRITY
Brene says this should be choosing courage over comfort. Choosing what is right no matter how hard it may be. And that you keep to and actively practice your values, not just talk about them.
N – NON-JUDGMENT
This is the ability to ask for what you need and let others ask for what they need. That needs are discussed in a judgment-free space.
G – GENEROSITY
And lastly, that you “extend the most generous interpretation possible to the
intentions, words, and actions of others.” That you take what someone has said or done and instead of jumping to the worst case scenario or worst of intentions behind what was said, you trust them and offer generosity by considering the best of intentions in your interpretations instead.
So, do you trust yourself?
I think when applying Brene’s ideas, most of us wouldn’t be able to say that we truly trust ourselves.
B – Do I set personal boundaries and respect the boundaries that I set for myself? Am I clear about my needs?
R – Do I depend on myself or recognise my own abilities and limitations in order to see myself as reliable? Do I do what I say I’ll do?
A – Do I hold myself accountable for my actions?
V – Do I lock away and keep other people’s confidences? Do I respect my vault and share appropriately?
I – Do I actively practice my values, instead of just speaking about them?
N – Do I allow myself to be who I am and speak about my feelings without judgement? Am I nonjudgemental about my feelings?
No, I haven’t mastered that one yet.
G – And do I think the best about myself and my actions instead of the worst?
Therefore, the verdict is: I don’t trust myself. Not really. Not enough.
How sad is that?
Do you trust yourself in strife?
I think this is the ultimate test of trust. If you are in danger; if you’re about to take a risk; if you’re vulnerable and unsure; if you’re facing problems and difficulties…do you trust yourself?
Can you trust yourself to make the right decisions?
Can you trust yourself to persevere?
Can you trust yourself to be strong and brave?
Can you trust yourself to make mistakes, take ownership, and learn from them?
Adversity is a great indicator of trust. Those who trust themselves are resilient and strong. Those who trust themselves are able to get through any hardship. Why? Because as I said, trust is at the root of all successes.
If you trust yourself, you hold yourself accountable. This means you will take responsibility, make changes where needed, and persevere accordingly.
If you trust yourself, you will have integrity, so you will do the right thing and hold true to your values instead of allowing yourself to be scared or changed by external factors.
So, in order to succeed in our endeavours, we must trust ourselves. It’s dangerous not to. And if you can’t trust yourself in difficulties, you may fall into some bad places…
Do you trust yourself in relationships?
This is a big one. I think that strife is a big indicator of trust in oneself, but our relationships are more of a constant indication of where our trust lies.
In relationships, do you give your all? Do you trust yourself to pick the right people and give yourself to them fully? Do you trust yourself to act appropriately? Do you trust yourself to trust others, and allow yourself to be vulnerable with them?
Trust is “choosing to risk making something you value vulnerable to another person’s actions,” – Charles Feltman
Think about it this way, you need to trust someone in order to let them catch you when you’re falling, for example, right? That’s why it’s called a Trust Fall. So, thinking about this in more depth, do you trust yourself to put yourself in a situation where someone else is supposed to catch you?
With my life partner, I must trust him to keep my confidences. To protect me, honour me, support me, lift me, and encourage me throughout our life together. The same is true with my mother, my sister, my brother, my grandparents, and any close friends.
When we really think about it, this is a lot. This is serious. It’s a big responsibility to allow someone to do that for you, but in the beginning, that responsibility lies with you.
Because we pick who we choose to trust, and the wrong choice, can have dire consequences…
They will hurt you. Disappoint you. Make you question yourself and your worthiness. Make you make wrong decisions and ultimately change the course of your life.
Now that’s not to be ignored.
If you put your trust in the wrong people, again and again, you need to ask yourself if you even trust yourself. There’s a saying that goes, “you can’t love someone until you love yourself” but I think this is wrong. I’d sooner say,
“You can’t trust someone until you trust yourself.”
Because how would you know what trust is if you don’t trust yourself? Trust is love. Trust is strength. Trust is connection. Trust is resilience. If you can give that to yourself, boy will you pick the right people and allow them to give the right things to you.
When you can set Boundaries for yourself, you understand and respect the boundaries of others.
When you can Rely on yourself, you can rely on yourself to put your faith in people who are actually reliable.
When you can hold yourself Accountable, you will be able to hold others accountable without restriction or fear because you understand the importance of it.
When you can lock away your information in the Vault and keep others’ too, you will trust yourself to share the right information with the right people for them to keep in their vault.
When you can practice Integrity and ensure you hold true to your personal values in your life, you will see that integrity in others and connect to it on a deep level.
When you can give kindness to yourself with Non-judgement, you are able to give that same kindness to others and encourage them to give it to themselves.
And when you can be Generous with yourself and consider the best of intentions, you can again give that kindness and see it or ask for it from those who you enter relationships with.
Our relationships are stronger not only when we trust others, but when we trust ourselves, too.
Do you trust yourself?
So, do you trust yourself in-line with Brene Brown’s BRAVING blueprint?
Do you trust yourself in difficult situations and periods in your life?
Do you trust yourself in relationships and who you choose to give your time and energy to?
If the answer is No, which I suspect it is for a lot of us, then think about what this means. Why don’t you trust yourself? What’s stopping you? What are the consequences of your lack of trust?
Here are some ideas to take away with you…
Why you don’t trust yourself:
- Experiences or events of the past giving “evidence” as to why you shouldn’t
- Mistakes and failures stacking up
- Low self-esteem or self-worth
- Mental health disorders or illnesses (anxiety or depression etc.)
- Bad decisions in the past
- Poor circumstances
- Lack of life experience
- Poor relationships with others
How to trust yourself:
- Challenge yourself often
- Forgive yourself for the past
- Try to judge yourself less
- Give the kindness that you give to others back to yourself
- Write a list of accomplishments (personal ones, not societal ones) and keep referring back to it
- Set boundaries, goals, and guidelines to help you make decisions better, keep to your values, and cultivate a life and relationships that are meaningful to you
I want to trust myself because then I know nothing will ever be too bad. I can get through anything if I have trust.
Trusting yourself means you make better decisions with the right intentions. It means you’ll look after yourself, love yourself, and be kind to yourself. You will see yourself as you really are, not a tainted illusionary perception from a place of lacking trust.
With trust, you can be you. You can be naked and vulnerable without life-limiting fear. You can create, share, and self-express with truth and honesty and strength. That sounds perfect to me.
Question your trust this week, face your Whys, and make changes. It’ll be liberating and life-changing…
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